Trackless Vehicle System
I was inspired to start this project after seeing the model town of Radiator Springs in Carsland. My brother started to collect the buildings to complete the town. I thought to myself it would be cool to have the cars actually move up and down the town like in the movie. I then came up with the idea of having the cars move down the town via a trackless ride system.
My original idea was to have a chain drive being held up by sprockets with one motor at the end of the track to drive the chain. This idea did not work because of the chain being too heavy. I then came up with the idea to use a guide rail system that the chain would slide into. There are pictures below of the guide rails that I designed in Inventor and then 3D printed. The end guide rails also have ramps to ease the chain into the guides.
The chain is driven by a motor attached to a sprocket at the one end of the track and a large return sprocket at the other end of the track. The chain drive system is on the first level of the table I built which holds the magnets in brackets attached to the chain. The second level is where the town and road sits. Once the first level was completed I began to layout where the road will be placed as well as the landscape pieces. I laid down the road which is on top of removable foam boards for easy access to the chain drive if maintenance is needed. Next magnets were placed on the bottom of the cars so they can be pulled along the road by the magnets on the chain below. These cars can be removed easily and placed anywhere on the road and they will be picked up by the magnets. Once the road was in place I laid down and glued sand mats and other desert decorations to the foam pieces around the town to make it look like a desert. Below are pictures and videos of my progress on the project.